Afternoon Coffee: Mastercard Launches Program for Gig Workers, Teamsters Union Demands UPS Prohibit Use of Driverless Vehicles

Mastercard announced Thursday the launch of its Inclusive Futures Project, an initiative that will offer specialized products and services for gig workers, according to a press release. The project will address challenges in three areas: “digital solutions to manage finances and speed payments; government services for greater innovation and efficiency; and smart cities for a digitally inclusive future.”

UPS-Teamsters Negotiations

The Teamsters union is starting off its UPS contract negotiations with a big ask: that the logistics provider prohibits the use driverless vehicles and drones, the Wall Street Journal reports. The union also wants UPS to eliminate late-night deliveries and add another 10,000 workers to the ranks, among other demands.

Blockchain in Space

What will it take to develop a new economy in space? Blockchain may be the answer to several vexing problems, two companies presenting at the World Economic Forum say.

“Blockchain technology can uniquely enable commerce in the space economy and solve previously intractable problems. For example, light time is a fundamental limitation on deep space communications and deep space commerce," according to the event page.“The advent of blockchain technology unlocks the potential for direct machine-to-machine negotiation without the need for interaction with Earth, enabling commerce to rapidly expand deep into the solar system.

Dollar News

And finally, a forex update: The U.S. dollar hit a three-year low against the euro Thursday following comments from U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that suggested a more belligerent trade policy, the Japan Times reports.

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